Mark Berent received his pilot’s wings in September 1953, then flew the F-86 SabreJet and the F-100 Super Sabre in Germany, France, and the U.S. He even caught a ride in the "missile with a man in it", the F-104. In the early ‘60s, the USAF sent him to Arizona State University to get an engineering degree. While there, the Vietnam War became more intense, and he volunteered for duty in Vietnam
In mid-December 1965 he arrived at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam as a pilot in the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) in the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW). He flew over 250 missions and was reassigned back in the States to a desk job at the Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO) in El Segundo, California. Though he was able to fly the T-39 Sabreliner, he was not happy. The war tempo had increased. He made contact with Air Force Personnel and soon found himself at George Air Force Base, Victorville, California, upgrading into the F-4 Phantom.
On the 1st of November, 1968, he signed in to the 497th TFS at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in upcountry Thailand. There he flew over 240 missions both as a Night Owl and as a Wolf Forward Air Controller (FAC).
He wrote the Wings of War series, a five-part series that follows pilot Court Bannister, pilot Toby Parker, and Special Forces officer Wolf Lochert through their successive combat tours in Vietnam. Along the way, we see real events like Johnson and McNamara micro-managing the war, the outrageous abuse of American Pilots held at the Hoa Lo prison, and the claim of an attack on the Russian ship Turkmenestan.
Carl Minter got his start in aviation as a teenager in the Negro Airmen International program, and later attended Parks College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. After a stint working as an engineer for Sikorsky, he joined the Air Force and flew C-141's and then was selected to fly Presidential Support missions in the Gulfstream aircraft. After leaving the military and joining a legacy airline, Karl continued his service in the Air Force reserves.
In this podcast, Karl describes the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and explains their many programs, including job fairs, mentoring and scholarship opportunities.
Chuck’s aviation career is the result of a life-long interest in aviation, which was made stronger as his father - an Air Force pilot in three wars - took him to countless air shows where he watched the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels perform. This led to enrollment in USAF ROTC at the Citadel and a subsequent pilot slot. He brought the discipline he learned at the Citadel into his Air Force flight training and graduated near the top of his class.
As a result of his performance in Undergraduate Pilot Training, he was selected by the Air Training Command as an Air Force instructor pilot. He excelled in this role and was offered a position as a career trainer, which he gladly accepted. Chuck spent the next 24 years educating and training pilots, serving in various capacities including Standardization/Evaluation Chief Spin Pilot, Squadron Commander, Air Operations Inspector and Director of Operations/Training for the Civil Air Patrol. Throughout his career, he helped Air Force pilots improve their skills. Chuck retired from the Air Force in 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After military retirement, he turned his attention to general aviation (GA) where he found a huge discrepancy between the training and proficiency the Air Force offered and what was present in GA. This began his quest to bring GA training closer to the level offered by the military and the airlines through improved standardization and proficiency training. Since 2000, he has maintained this focus on providing quality GA flight instruction.
Chuck has influence well beyond the borders of the United States. As a Platinum Cirrus Instructor Pilot, he helps with ground and flight training internationally through the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association Foundation’s Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program. As a result of these efforts, owners and renters enhance their knowledge, proficiency, and safety in technologically advanced aircraft, making them more professional pilots.
As co-founder and Chief Instructor of Independence Aviation (IA), Chuck helped craft a unique and effective environment that emphasizes high-quality training in technologically advance aircraft and which fosters proficiency, safety, and fun in aviation. Since 2007, he helped grow the business from three instructors and two airplanes to more than 18 instructors and 13 aircraft with a strong base of loyal clientele. Chuck was named Chief Instructor Emeritus in acknowledgement of his many outstanding accomplishments as Chief Instructor at IA.
Carl Valeri started his career in the computer business, preparing clients for the effects of the dreaded Y2K Disaster. But he always had a desire to fly, and finally found his passion when he got an airline job. When he was furloughed, he found his other passion: helping furloughed pilots find aviation employment.
He now helps countless pilots in the pursuit of their passions through his aviation counseling, his blog, and his podcasts. He publishes an Aerospace Scholarship Guide, which he updates annually, and also guides young pilots as a Flight Team coach. In addition, Carl is a television on-air aviation expert. AND, in his spare time, he flies for an airline!
During WW II Bud Anderson served two combat tours escorting heavy bomber over Europe in the P-51 Mustang, Nov 1943 through Jan 1945. He flew 116 combat mission (480 hrs) and destroyed 16 and 1/4 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another one on the ground.
He has an extensive flight testing background spanning a 25 year period. At Wright-Patterson AFB OH he was a fighter test pilot and later became Chief of Fighter Operations. He flew many models of the early jet fighters and was involved in two very unusual flight test programs. He made the first flights on a bizarre experimental program to couple jet fighters to the wingtips of a large bomber aircraft for range extension.
Later he also conducted the initial development flights on the F-84 Parasite fighter modified to be launched and retrieved from the very large B-36 bomber. At The Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB Col Anderson was assigned as the Chief Of Flight Test Operations and later Deputy Director of Flight Test. While there he flew the Century series fighters and all the other types of aircraft in the Air Force inventory. He has flown over 130 different types of aircraft and has logged over 7500 flying hours.
Other assignment in his 30 years of continuous military service include duty as: Commander of an F86 Squadron in post war Korea, Commander of an F-105 Wing on Okinawa, and two assignments to the Pentagon as an advanced R & D staff planner and as Director of Operational Requirements. Further, he served in Southeast Asia where he was Commander of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. Col Anderson flew bombing strikes against enemy supply lines and later was in charge of closing the first large air base when his combat wing was deactivated. Col Anderson was decorated 25 times. His awards include 2 Legion of Merits, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, the French Legion of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre, as well as many campaign and service ribbons.